CAIRO, 27 December 2007 — The death toll from the collapse of a 12-story residential building in Egypt’s Mediterranean city of Alexandria rose to 20 yesterday, security sources said. Rescue workers have brought out three survivors from the rubble, they said.
Authorities had said they thought 25 to 30 people had been buried under the rubble. The building disintegrated on Monday as construction workers carried out repairs on the first floor.
It was constructed as a seven-story building in 1982 without a permit, authorities said. The owner obtained a permit later but then illegally added five floors.
Prosecutors have issued warrants for the arrest of a number of people, including the woman who owned the building. They have arrested the contractor responsible for the renovation work under way immediately before the collapse, the sources said. Police also arrested the chairman of the local council and another council official in connection with the collapse.
Woman Dies of Bird Flu
An Egyptian woman has died from the H5N1 strain of bird flu, the 16th person to succumb to the virus in Egypt, the Health Ministry said yesterday.
Oula Yunes Ali, 25, died on Tuesday after being admitted to hospital on Friday with a high fever, ministry spokesman Abdel Rahmane Shahin said in a statement carried by the official MENA news agency.